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Historically, calling cards were, “first employed in 15th century China and later used by the aristocracy of 17th century became popular with England’s nobility and rich in the 1800s,” according to American Stationary.

Today, calling calling cards are used for a variety of purposes and by a variety of people including: tutors, freelance workers, babysitters, stay-at-home-moms, college students and young professionals.

For the young professional a calling card is a great networking tool to use before you have a job (where you’ll get business cards.) When you meet someone at a networking or social event, or by chance, you can hand them your card. It’s one of the many little things you can do that can set you apart from other young professionals. 

You should include the following information on your calling card:

  • Full name
  • Phone number
  • Email
  • Blog (if relevant and if you keep it updated)
  • Twitter handle (same as above)

Lastly, have some fun putting these together!

“Your calling card should reflect your personality. When someone puts your phone number into their cell, they may look at this entry some time later and fail to remember much about you. A calling card should include something to jog their memory.”

When designing your card, keep it gender neutral. I’m a pretty girly girl, but I chose a mustard yellow with a sage green with script font. Not pink and gold glitter, even though I was tempted.

Now, where to order your cards…

Vistaprint- If you’re on a tight budget, then this is the only place I suggest ordering your calling cards from. Two hundred and fifty cards for $10. As my mother would say, “You can’t beat that with a stick.” No, no you can’t mom. The only hitch with Vistaprint is that their templates are average. In order to get a really great looking card you’ll need to upload a design.

Now, if you’re able to splurge a bit, here are some other suggestions that are really quite lovely:

Zazzle- This is where I ordered my last batch of calling cards from and I must say, while they’re a little more, they’re totally worth it. The quality is exceptional. These cards will run you around $25 for 100 cards. Not bad. The predominant benefit of using Zazzle is that they have really beautiful templates, so if you’re no graphic designer like me, this is the way to go.

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MOO- I know several people who swear by Moo‘s calling cards. These cards will cost you at least $40 for 100 cards, depending on the design and style. That’s the thing with MOO, you’ve got seemingly endless design options.

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Crane and Co.- If you’re a trust fund baby or you have a tree with money on it in the backyard, then by all means my dear, order your cards from Crane. Crane Stationary is hands-down the most sophisticated and most incredible stationary on God’s good earth. It will cost you about $1 per card.  They are letter-pressed and are printed on 100 percent cotton paper. My goodness, they are beautiful.

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Once you order these, you’ll be surprised by how frequently you use them. Sitting on a plane and strike up a conversation with a fellow journalism student? At the end of the conversation say how nice it was to meet them and hand them your card and say, “Here’s my card. Let’s stay in touch.”

When handing in a job application, or writing a professional thank you note, include one of your cards. It’s all about re-enforcing your personal brand.

You never know when these situations will arise, so always keep a good supply ready with you wherever you go. I even keep some in each of my evening handbags. Never know who you’ll sit next to at the ballet!

Do you use calling cards?

How have you benefited from their use?